LIVERMORE (KCBS) — A new report released this past week shows that veterans make up a disproportionate amount of the nation’s homeless population.

The study by the Department of Housing and Urban Development found that veterans are 50 percent more likely to become homeless than other Americans.

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Additionally, more than 75,000 vets were homeless at least one night in 2009 and 136,000 indicated they had spent at least one night in a shelter that year.

“If someone is crying out for help, we need to be there for them,” said East Bay Congressman Jerry McNerney. “They’ve been there for us overseas. They’ve seen their friends killed in combat. We need to be there for them now.”

KCBS’ Mark Seelig Reports:

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McNerney sits on the House Committee on Veteran’s Affairs. He recently met with VA Secretary Eric Shinseki and said there’s a commitment to end veteran homelessness in five years, a daunting task but one that he said can be accomplished with hard work and innovative thinking.

“There has got to be people that care enough about our veterans, like the Sentinels of Freedom in San Ramon,” he said. “They help veterans that have lost limbs in combat. The country has to come together to help these folks.”

McNerney said he’s also working hard behind the scenes to save the VA hospital in Livermore, which is slated for closure.

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